Will progesterone help with spotting, acne etc

by Bronwen
(South Africa)

Hi Wray, I am 31. After I had my second daughter my cycle and skin were perfect for approximately a year and then all hell broke loose. For 2 weeks of the month I used to spot and my skin was a total break out.

I also gradually started gaining weight. I was put on the pill which has helped my cycle and my skin a great deal (not my weight though) but it is giving me high blood pressure which is a big no, no especially since I have a rheumatic heart murmur. I have just stopped the pill. Will progesterone keep my skin & cycle normal? I have to also mention that I have a uterine fibroid. I just don't want to go back to acne and constant period. PLEASE HELP.

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Feb 05, 2011
Will progesterone help with spotting, acne etc
by: Wray

Hi Bronwen The only reason I can think is behind your problems is anovulation. From about age 35 this starts, some months we don't ovulate, some we do. Unless we ovulate the ovaries don't make progesterone, this means oestrogen becomes the dominant hormone, testosterone too. Luteinising hormone (LH) is secreted by the anterior pituitary gland and is required for both growth of preovulatory follicles and ovulation of the dominant follicle. In an effort to make a mature follicle ovulate the pituitary increases output of LH, but excess LH suppresses ovulation. LH also stimulates proliferation and secretion of androgens by the theca cells which surround the ovum, hence the rise in androgen levels. This rise is responsible for the acne, oily skin, facial hair, etc., that can occur. With excess androgens, oestrogen also increases. The androgens, notably androstendione, migrates from the theca cells to the granulosa cells where it is converted by the enzyme aromatase into oestrogen, particularly oestradiol. The excess oestrogen can cause an increase in water retention and weight gain. Contraceptives do regulate the cycle, but only because they force us into a 28 day cycle, which most women don't have. MMPs are enzymes that break down protein. They play a role in the breakdown of endometrial tissues at the end of the menstrual cycle. If they are over active the result is a pathological reaction such as inflammation. This can lead to spotting or continual, sometimes excessive bleeding in the uterus. Oestrogen stimulates MMPs. If there's an excess of oestrogen in the body it will continually stimulate more lining. Progesterone suppresses MMPs. It?s only when progesterone levels drop at the end of the cycle that the MMP?s can get to work and break down the lining causing our monthly bleed. But if progesterone is low due to anovulation, spotting and/or bleeding can continue, see here and here. We do have a page on Acne, and one on Fibroids, please read through these as they explain why both occur. If you should consider progesterone, please read these two pages too, How to use progesterone cream and Oestrogen Dominance. Take care Wray

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